Champions prove they are winners in fighting infections

Simon Goldsmith who runs the infection control champions programme for Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, which has been instrumental in helping the Trust achieve high scores for hand hygiene.
Simon Goldsmith who runs the infection control champions programme for Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, which has been instrumental in helping the Trust achieve high scores for hand hygiene.
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An award-winning initiative to introduce infection control champions into wards, clinics and other healthcare settings throughout Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Trust has been highly rated in a World Health Organisation assessment.

The champions’ programme – which started three years ago with a handful of staff – now has around 170 members across Derbyshire Community Health Services who have volunteered to play a special role in promoting good infection control practices in their workplace areas.

It has proved so effective that in a recent World Health Organisation hand hygiene assessment, the Trust achieved 93 per cent for its good hand-washing practices.

Simon Goldsmith, who runs the champions’ programme for Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, said: “This is a real pat on the back for all the champions who act as ambassadors for good infection control in their wards, clinics and other areas.”

The WHO assessment was carried out as part of the continual monitoring of infection prevention and control standards within Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, which runs 13 community hospitals across the county and 31 health centres.

The champions’ programme has already won several awards, including being highly commended at the national Infection Prevention Society conference last year.

Nurses, emergency nurse practitioners, health care assistants, health visitors, dental nurses, learning disability staff, porters, hotel services staff, podiatrists and others with daily contact with patients, are all included among the champions.

The champions are responsible for promoting and monitoring good hand hygiene practices to their colleagues. They are also invited to an annual conference, organised by Derbyshire Community Health Services’ Infection Prevention and Control Team, as a networking and information sharing opportunity.

In 2011 external speakers from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at University of Nottingham and a professor of microbiology from within the NHS spoke at the conference, in recognition of the high importance placed on infection prevention and control within Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Trust.

Michelle O’Connor, Senior Matron in Infection Prevention and Control at Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, said: “The main objective of the programme is to promote effective hand hygiene practices and monitor staff against the benchmark of the World Health Organisation’s five moments for hand hygiene.

”The champions are to be congratulated for enabling us to report such good levels of hand hygiene compliance, which is such a crucial factor in minimising the risks of infections for our patients.”